The Bears may be the object of scorn for many sports writers, but this grumpy grizzly should buck up because there's always a bright side when it comes to the Bears. (AP Photo)
I was perusing the copious amounts of articles circulating the Intertube about the Bears this morning when it dawned on me that not many people think the Monsters of the Midway are going to be very good this season. In fact, it seems like no one has a single kind word to say about them: Certainly not their former team members or coaches. Not their current players or coaches. And definitely not the fans.
Even the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is at a loss for kind words about the Bears. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette! They love the Bears in Fort Wayne.***
Well that's one bandwagon of seething negativity I'm officially refusing to flag down. Welcome to the first in what I'm sure will become an ongoing series: Bears Brightside.
And while I've expressed my own lack of love for the organization in the past, mine is a solely economic disdain that stems from the team's astronomical ticket prices. My criticism stops today though. From here, I'll only celebrate the brilliance that is Jerry Angelo. The genius that is Lovie Smith. And the benevolence that is the McCaskey family.
We'll start with a few reasons why I'm excited about the 2008-2009 Chicago Bears:
1. So what if Chicago is where wide receivers go to die, Mushin Muhammad? I'd rather die in Chicago than live a single day in the sprawl-and-drawl infested "city" of Charlotte.
2. Sure, it's wishful thinking, but even if the Bears are less than stellar this season, no one will notice until November thanks to a pair of basebally teams connected by the Red Line and ... October-scented destiny?
3. As pointed out by the stalwart Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star, the Bears refuse to engage in back-and-forth ballyhoo with former teammates. This is pro football's equivalent of "I'm rubber, you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you." Well done, Bears. Your silence is deafening.
4. In today's colum, "Soft? Evidence piling up," Daily Herald writer Mike Imrem outlines his own unique brand of disdain for Bears QB Rex Grossman, punctuated by the ever-so-clever quip, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me a fourth time, shame on me." Really, Imrem? A variation of a cliche? That's the best you've got to criticize Rex Grossman? At least you could have taken a page from the book of Ron "Mental Midget" Rivera and thrown some alliteration in there. All the criticism of Rex Grossman is only setting him up to exceed expectations. You cannot tear him down any more than he's already been torn down. He has no where to go but up. And if up's not in Rex's cards, Kyle Orton's golden beard of unvetted talent will gladly take the wheel. The real question -- which will I start in Madden 09, the release of which I shall celebrate today by purchasing said time-waster.
5. The ghosts of Rashaan Salaam and Curtis Enis have deemed that Matt Forte will have one good season with the Bears -- and that season is his rookie season. So let us welcome this year's 1,000-yard rusher, Matt Forte.
6. Devin Hester is like water.
*** I was told this by someone who grew up there and referred to the town only as 'Fort Fun.'